3 Easy Ways to Carve a no-mess Pumpkin

Skip the mess with these easy DIY pumpkins that you can display all season!

It happens almost every year and yet it is always still a surprise-Halloween has snuck up on me again. Between my reno projects both inside and outside my house, my kids and my blog I have barely had time to binge on Halloween candy, let alone decorate the house. So this year, I decided that if I was going to carve some pumpkins, I wanted to do it without the stinky mess and in a way that will last more than a few days.

Reusable craft pumpkins

Indian Summer

The beginning of October had me constantly guessing between sweaters and shorts. While the timing may have been perfect for apple picking (another thing I failed to do this year) it was way too warm for pumpkins. The last thing I want to deal with is a bunch of rotten Jack O’lanterns on my porch.

Stinky smelly mess

In our modern age of store-bought pumpkin seeds, I see no reason to put myself through the torture which is known as carving pumpkins.  While I was forced to endure this torture as a kid, in my adulthood I have chosen to avoid at all costs.

As a parent, I don’t want to deprive my kids of this Halloween ritual. I have tried having my husband take the lead while I relax in another room, but I still find myself getting sick to my stomach off the fumes. In turn, my husband often finds that he is left to complete the job alone once our kids abandon the job five minutes in.

The Perfect Pumpkin

After weeks of procrastination, I discovered I waited just long enough to get a great deal on pumpkins from Micheals I had always wanted to give their artificial pumpkins a try and this seemed like the ideal year.

Originally I planned to print a stencil off the web to carve a couple of really cool designs that could be used over and over again. Once I realized that I was about to do hours of work for a few days of enjoyment, I decided to do something that I could be enjoyed for the entire Fall season instead of just a few days.

I scoured Pinterest for some inspiration and then recruited my somewhat willing husband to help. We kept one pumpkin traditional with a carved Jack O’lantern face and decided to use a drill to make patterns on the other two.

The first thing I did was draw out a pattern to follow with the drill. On one pumpkin I choose to follow the lines along the pumpkin with alternating drill bit sizes (one small, one large).

On the other pumpkin, I drew a swirling design and also used alternating drill bits to add some interest to the pattern. I found with the swirl pattern I needed to use smaller bits to make the intricate design.

Easy clean-up

Instead of a stinky, gloopy, mess, these pumpkins were easily cleaned up with our vacuum. I used a toothpick to clean up the holes and push through any hanging bits. I decided I wanted to paint the two pumpkins so I used some simple dollar store paint. I used gold on the smaller one and a mixture of white gold and pink to paint the larger one.

Once the paint had dried I used a lighter shade of gold to highlight the pumpkin’s crevices on the smaller pumpkin and to add dimension to the larger one.

I added some battery operated tealights and we were ready to celebrate! The best part is that as soon as Halloween is over I don’t have to put my pumpkins away since they are perfect as fall decor as well.

Would you ever use craft pumpkins instead of the real thing? Let me know in the comments!